SWIHA Blog

Are We There Yet?! -  6 Mindfulness Tips for the Trip to Inner Peace

Posted by Lizzy House on 5/21/18 2:00 PM

Too often, I meet people on their spiritual path who are fed up with their lack of progress, lack of knowledge, lack of you-name-it... Often, these are the same people whose every inch of last spring’s vision board has already come true, who have grown leaps and bounds in the past year, and who have a long list of achievements already under their belt.

Despite the “bigger picture” of their overwhelming success, these folks tend to fall into a pit of despair in reaction to their recent missteps or scattered goals. They devote more time to suffering over their mistakes than creating, learning, healing, and growing. They open the door to self-criticism and, in doing so, slam the door shut on universal guidance. And, on top of it all, you can bet that these rock stars are painfully aware of their self-sabotaging behavior… and are adding that, too, to their growing catalog of “weaknesses.”

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Topics: Mindfulness, Yoga Sutras, Ego, Mindful, anxiety, Law of Attraction

The WHY of Yoga: What Heals You?

Posted by Will Zecco on 4/30/18 2:00 PM

Those who know me know that my journey into yoga started very late in life. While I had always had an interest in yoga, I usually ended up feeling disheartened whenever I’d venture to an actual class. Time after time, I’d find myself in the same chaotic environment: a room full of sweaty people jumping through the poses at lightning speed while an instructor stood at the front of the room, barking out the moves like a drill sergeant! Leaving the studio after these experiences, I’d wind up feeling uneasy with the same thought plaguing me the whole journey home: “Well, that was not what I expected...”

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Topics: Advanced Yoga Training, Yoga Teacher Training, Transformation, Yoga Sutras, yoga

Anti-bullying: Would S.H.O.C.K. Therapy Work?

Posted by KC Miller on 9/28/17 2:41 PM

"If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you're happy and you know it, and you're not afraid to show it, clap your hands!"

If you know these words, you've probably either been in Sunday school at some point in your life, been to one of my yoga classes, or you know my grandkids! This is one of my favorite theme songs…

And they are also the words that broke me wide open recently.

“If you’re happy and you know it…”

At our household, we sing all of the verses and variations! “If you're happy and you know it… stomp your feet, say AMEN, scratch your head, rub your belly, pretend you’re jelly!” And we often run through all of the emotions of the Pixar movie Inside Out: Joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and many more, often resulting in hold-your-belly laughter!

After a particular round of singing, laughing, and hilarious antics, one of my granddaughters spontaneously said to me, "What’s gay, Granny? What does gay mean?"

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Topics: love, SWIHA, yoga, Yoga Teacher Training, Depression, Yoga Sutras, PTSD, bullying, shock therapy, homophobia, isolation, suicide, the just be love project, suicide prevention, trauma sensitive bodywork

Yogic Breathing For Both On & Off the Mat

Posted by Kerry Burki on 9/19/16 10:53 AM

Today we are sharing a breathing technique taught in our Yoga Teacher Training programs! It is commonly used during yoga practice and meditation. It can also be a great way to start your day, recharge midday, and unwind at the end of the day.  

It is the Ujjayi Breath or Victorious Breath. Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) breath creates a sound that helps synchronize the movements with the breath during a yoga practice. In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali suggests that the breath should be both long and smooth.  

Begin by sitting tall and comfortably and you can close the eyes for more focus. Start to take deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then, start to exhale like you are trying to fog up a mirror. Continue breathing like this. Notice the contraction you are creating in the back of your throat. Half way through your next exhale, begin to close your mouth while still exhaling like you are trying to fog up a mirror. 

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Topics: yoga, breathe, Yoga Teacher Training, Yogic Breathing, Ujjayi Breath, Breathing Techniques, Patanjali, Yoga Sutras, Breathwork, Pranayama, YTT

NOW is the Time to Begin the Practice of . . . . .

Posted by KC on 9/1/16 4:06 PM

The first word of the ancient Yoga Sutras is atha, which means NOW. In Sanskrit, atha is pronounced ah-tah.  In the yogic tradition, atha consists of two of the sacred sounds of ‘a’ and ‘tha’,  which are thought to be vibrational keys that unlock our chakras  -- the spinning wheels of energetic consciousness we all have within us.  When we say, or mindfully chant, atha the sacred language is said to unlock the portals of Truth (our 6th chakra) and our Divine connection (the 7th Crown chakra).  

Not only does atha means NOW, it indicates a conscious decision to start something that will be practiced with a deep commitment, over a sustained period of time.  Often when translating the word atha it is explained as a term indicating an auspicious, or significantly special, beginning.

Atha could easily be compared to the decision one might make to do something as committedly as deciding to stop drinking alcohol. It doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes practice and a daily commitment.  The well-known phrase ‘One day at a time’ exemplifies Yoga Sutra 1.1.   

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Topics: yoga, Atha, National Yoga Awareness Month, Yoga Sutras, Serious Sutra Seekers, chakra

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